TUIfly is the first charter airline in the world to offer customers with a smartphone, iPod Touch or Blackberry the option to receive their boarding pass digitally. This means customers can go paperless when boarding their flight, making the check-in and boarding process easier and more convenient. Customers can choose between an electronic or printable boarding pass, with the electronic version hosted on a smartphone app that’s presented at the gate and scanned before boarding. TUIfly, our charter airline in the German market and one of the largest airlines in Germany, is offering the new service throughout most of its route network. More on TUIfly
TUI Travel has been ranked 45th out of 2,097 companies in the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment Performance League Table. We’ve improved by nearly 300 places taking us into the top 2% overall and we’re the highest placed of the travel and tourism businesses and airlines listed. Our climb in the rankings is thanks to initiatives such as automatic meter readers in our UK shops, new energy management systems and greater scrutiny of energy usage. These initiatives are helping us achieve our commitment to reduce carbon emissions from our UK shops by 15% by 2014. In the last 2 years, TUI UK has saved 1,300 tonnes of carbon, saving the business more than £200k. More information
TUI Nederland has once again proven its green credentials by being the first major travel company to take the Travelife award for Tour operators and Travel agents. Mr Taleb Rifai, General Secretary UNWTO, presented the award in Amsterdam on 9 Jan 2013. TUI Nederland has demonstrated its long-term commitment to sustainability and is a leader in this area, having met more than 150 criteria on office management, product range, international business partners and customer information. Across TUI Travel, we encourage our hotels to achieve certifications such as Travelife to help us reach our goal to deliver 10 million fairer and greener holidays by 2015. More information.
TUI UK & I is supporting farmers in Turkey through the Taste of Fethiye project, which creates links between tourist hotels and local farmers. With its first full season of production completed, more than 570 tonnes of high quality, competitively priced and sustainably produced fresh fruit and vegetables have been produced by 22 Taste of Fethiye farmers across five villages, including tomatoes, watermelons, cauliflowers and peppers. A great example of sustainability in practice, the project benefits holidaymakers, farmers, hotels and tour operators. Click here to read more.
Thomson Airways has revealed its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be named ‘Living the Dream’ after it crowd-sourced suggestions via Twitter earlier this year. Nicola Thomson from Glasgow named the revolutionary new aircraft as part of the #nameourplane competition. The judges were moved by the story behind Nicola’s entry, which she dedicated to a year of celebrations for Great Britain and her own personal triumph recovering from neuro surgery. As well as naming the Dreamliner, Nicola will also get to fly on the new state-of-the-art aircraft when Thomson becomes the first UK airline to fly the plane from May next year. Find out more about the Dreamliner here.
TUIfly is leading the way in fuel efficiency according to the 2012 Airline Index published by atmosfair. Rated the most fuel-efficient charter airline worldwide for short haul and long haul flights, TUIfly came top of the list of 125 airlines thanks to its commitment to reducing environmental impact and investing in modern, fuel-efficient aircraft. Thomson Airways also scored well, coming second to TUIfly for the most efficient airline for short haul flights. This achievement helps towards our Sustainable Holidays Plan goal to operate Europe’s most fuel-efficient airlines and save more than 20,000 tonnes of carbon from our ground operations. Find out more here.
Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar adventures, has launched a worldwide competition to name the ‘Polar Big 5’with the lucky winner getting a trip for two to Antarctica! In the spirit of the African Safari Big 5, Quark has asked travellers across the globe to vote for the animals that should be recognised as a top wildlife highlight in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Go to competition website PolarBig5.com to vote and watch campaign videos for all nine animal contenders including the king penguin, reindeer, albatross, walrus, humpback whale, musk ox, polar bear, elephant seal and leopard seal. Competition closes 30 November 2012.
Our recent Green Ideas Factory competition gave TUI colleagues the chance to get creative about sustainability and submit their ideas on how we can be more ‘green’ whilst improving our business. 120 ideas came in from 18 countries with nearly 1,500 colleagues voting for their favourite concepts. 10 finalists developed their ideas with the help of mentors from TUI and Forum for the Future, a sustainable development think tank. The two overall competition winner ideas focused on replacing airside cars with electric vehicles at airports and creating a central system to collect and investigate new sustainability ideas for our airlines.
TUI Belgium is investing in a new business complex at Brussels Airport. Due to be completed in autumn 2013, the new ‘Jetairport,’ will stand next to the airport terminal and have office space for 800 employees and a hangar for aircraft maintenance. The complex will be able to accommodate three aircraft at once including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which Jetair will be the first Belgian airline to take delivery of in autumn 2013. TUI Belgium employees from across the travel agent, tour operator and airline divisions, currently working in six different offices, will be based at the complex allowing them to work more closely together to offer customers the best travel experience possible.
Peter Long presented the key note speech opening the 8th Foro Turístico Hosteltur 2012 conference in May. Addressing some of the key travel industry partners in Spain under the session title of ‘survival of the fittest’, Peter presented the main success factors of TUI Travel’s growth including leveraging scale, building leading brands, and focusing on the customer experience and the online market. He recognised the growth of Hotelbeds, formed in Spain and with its head office in Palma de Mallorca, and confirmed that the differentiation strategy is working following the release of the Thomson Summer 2013 programme which went on sale with in excess of 90% exclusive product two years ahead of schedule.
Our TUI Nederland office in Enschede has been specially designed to minimise its impact on the environment and is leading the way as one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the Netherlands. Designed and constructed with energy saving and energy efficiency in mind, the new building uses green electricity which produces no CO2. It also has cold and heat storage, solar panels, intelligent lighting and rainwater collection for water conservation. The building is expected to be rated ‘Excellent’ by BREEAM. Click here to find out more about this and other projects.
Quark Expeditions will be setting sail on the first ever carbon neutral voyage in November 2012 offsetting the emissions at no cost to the customer showing it’s possible to visit incredible places and preserve them for future generations. To neutralise the environmental effects of the Ocean Diamond voyages, an estimated 5,682 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents will be offset with select hydro, wind power and reforestation CarbonNeutral® projects in Turkey, Kenya, India and China. The voyage will sail on the Falkands, South Georgia and Antarctica tours.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner flew into Manchester airport this week as part of its global ‘Dream Tour’ preview. It was welcomed by Thomson Airways, the first UK customer to take delivery of this exciting new generation of aircraft in 2013. 13 Dreamliners will join the TUI Travel fleet across Thomson Airways, TUIfly Nordic, Arkefly and Jetairfly. Our brand new livery was also revealed, with its distinctive, dynamic wave design which will be seen alongside the iconic ‘TUI Smile.’ Click here for more information, images and a video of the Dreamliner in our new livery.
Small-group adventure tour specialist TrekAmerica has increased direct bookings through its award-winning online community TrekAmerica Live. Together with the company’s growing Facebook fan base, the TrekAmerica Live community links new and existing customers by offering trusted user reviews and recommendations. Trekkers chat about their trip before they depart and add videos and automatically post updates to Facebook during their travels, raising the brand profile and helping Trek America reach new customers. Click here to take a look at TrekAmerica Live.
Netherlands-based adventure travel specialist Sawadee Reizen was awarded the Green Feather 2011 for most sustainable tourism initiative by TravMagazine at this year’s Dutch Tourism Expo. Sawadee earned this award with an inventive campaign promoting the use of tap water and reduction of plastic waste and now gives all travellers a free reusable plastic bottle for refill during their trip. The initiative was promoted with a fun photo competition challenging customers to show their bottle appearing in exciting and exotic destinations worldwide. Click here for more information.
Recent TV adverts from Thomson and First Choice have led to the busiest ever web booking days for both brands. Thomson’s ‘quality time’ ad features the track, Where is My Mind? by Sunday Girl and has been released as a single by popular demand. The Thomson website saw a 14% increase in hits and was the most visited travel agency site in the UK. The First Choice ‘all inclusive’ ad features the Number 1 single Good Feeling by Flo Rida. Following the launch, there was a 43% increase in hits with over 1m visits between 2 - 8 January.
Thomson Airways became the first UK airline to operate commercial flights on sustainable biofuel when TOM 7446 took off from Birmingham Airport to Arrecife in Lanzarote on 6 July 2011. Carrying 232 passengers on a Boeing 757-200, the landmark flight, which was given full backing by Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers, confirmed Thomson Airways’ position at the forefront of sustainable aviation.
TUI Travel launched ‘Guidelines for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels’ at a conference which brought together hotel general managers, industry associations, academics and key colleagues from across the group to share best practice. The guidelines illustrate how hotels can reduce their negative impact on the environment and support the local community, while making financial savings. Having implemented these practices, Thomson’s Sensatori Resort in Crete achieved financial savings in excess of €100,000 in one year through energy and water efficiency measures and improvements.
TUI Travel conducted extensive consumer research in 2010 in partnership with the Global Nature Fund, with nearly 4,000 people interviewed online from 8 key source markets. The purpose was for TUI Travel to better understand people’s motivations and concerns in order to respond and engage in the right ways. The survey gave positive signs that more sustainable holidays are desirable: 1 in 2 would be willing to book a more sustainable holiday if available. 2 in 3 would change their behaviour on holiday to help the environment. 2 in 3 want their holiday company to be clear about how they make their holidays more sustainable.
This innovative leadership programme is being run in a Thai community & the aim is for our leaders to gain insight into their leadership styles & build contacts whilst making a contribution to a local community. Activities have included the building of a new playground & the creation of a large, irrigated vegetable garden. We have also helped the community with ideas on how they can improve their businesses. The residents have some simple ideas generated by us that they can implement to enhance the sustainability of their commercial activities in the production of banana snacks, a ‘homestay’ business and a Thai cookery school.
iExplore - the gateway to specialist and activity holidays
iExplore is a one stop shop for UK travellers to browse activity holiday products and be inspired by an amazing range of holiday experiences.
iExplore takes consumers to the moment when they do something unforgettable from summiting Kilimanjaro, to skiing that first black, to a sundowner on your own yacht, to experiencing that roar when your team wins, to cuddling lion cubs.
TUI Germany has opened the country’s most modern travel agency in Berlin. It links the competitive advantage of personal travel consultancy with state-of-the-art media and technology such as large-size LDC screens, iPads and internet research.
The contemporary room design not only creates an entirely new shopping experience but also allows usage as an event location. As such, it is not only TUI’s new flagship store but also serves as a blue print for a next generation of travel agencies to be spread across TUI’s retail chain.
In 2011 Hotelbeds celebrated its 10 year anniversary and its growth from a local to a global business. Hotelbeds began with one source market (the UK), one destination (Spain) and an accommodation database of 2000 hotels.
Hotelbeds now has over 100 source markets, is in more than 500 destinations, and has an accommodation database of over 45,000 hotels. Hotelbeds has a market leading brand position and continues to outperform the market.
In February 2011, Intrepid Travel combined with TUI Travel's international portfolio of adventure brands to create PEAK Adventure Travel Group, the largest adventure travel business. PEAK consists of over 20 brands with revenues of circa £230 million / AUD $400 million and over 340,000 passengers.
Combined they provide customers will every type of adventure holiday across all seven continents. PEAK brands include Adventure Center, Country Walkers, Exodus, Intrepid Travel, Oz Experience, Peregrine, Sawadee, TrekAmerica and WesternXposure.
TUI UK & Ireland continues to make use of its dual brand portfolio with Thomson and First Choice. Further distinctiveness came this year with the move of the First Choice brand to offer only all inclusive from Summer 2012.
This builds on the strength of the popular ranges across both brands, including First Choice Holiday Village and Splash. With Thomson Sensatori, Couples and Family Resorts to choose from too, customers have a range they simply cannot find from any other operator.
TUI Travel was the first international tour operator to launch its brand in Russia in March 2010. It now takes over 0.5 million customers on holiday each year and owns over 200 franchised shops. The main focus is expansion in the Moscow Region and St Petersburg.
Sun and beach package holidays and all-inclusive holidays remain the most popular products in Russia with the key destinations being Egypt and Turkey. The introduction of TUI in the market has opened up a greater variety of holiday experiences including spa breaks and luxury holidays and new destinations such as Israel, Cyprus and Mauritius.
During the political upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt in Summer 2011, TUI UK & Ireland worked hand in hand with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), to ensure customers were kept totally up-to-date on changes to their travelling advice.
In Tunisia, as soon as the FCO advised against all but essential travel, TUI worked quickly to repatriate more than 1,400 customers as soon as possible. When the FCO advised against all but essential travel to Egypt, except for the Red Sea holiday resorts, TUI strongly backed their position.
Le Passage to India launches Shaping Lives Foundation
In 2010 Le Passage to India launched the Shaping Lives foundation. This initiative supports animal and child welfare projects across India and aims to create a model foundation for the Indian Tourism Industry to emulate.
Le Passage to India supports 16 projects including an initiative to educate underprivileged children in Delhi and donates a fixed percentage of its earnings to the upkeep and rehabilitation of bears at the Agra Bear Rescue Centre.
On 24 May 2011 TUI China was awarded an outbound tour operator license by The National Tourism Administration of China. With this new license, TUI China is the only European tour operator to organise international travel for Chinese holidaymakers.
Inter-Asia travel remains very popular for Chinese customers but there is an increasing propensity to travel further afield and there is demand for tailor-made travel products, activity and special interest holidays. To date TUI China has specialised as an inbound tour operator but with the new outbound licence it will be looking at both sides of this exciting growth market.
In February 2011 Lima Tours (Peru) joined the Accommodation & Destination Sector. Lima Tours provides high end tailored travel experiences to customers in Peru and has operational offices in Cusco, Arequipa and Puno.
The acquisition provides expansion opportunities in the attractive South American incoming tourism market and supports plans for expansion in high growth specialist destinations with tailored products.
Intercruises delivers coast to coast in North America
In June 2011 Intercruises, a global provider of ground handling and port agency services to the ocean and river cruise industry, extended its coverage of the North Amercian region through the acquisition of TMS Gateway.
Intercruises now provides ground handling and port agency services at all major ports in North America, including the west coast destinations of San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver.
In August 2011, Hurricane Irene hit the US killing 45 people and causing billions of dollars of damage. During this period, Intercruises was providing cruise handling services across four different ports in the US. The logistical challenges were immense in this situation.
Intercruises had over 600 staff in the Baltimore and New York area working endlessly to get passengers and crews on and off the ships and organising their hotels and transfers. The commitment shown by the Intercruises team throughout this period meant that no operations were understaffed and that all ships sailed at the times needed by the cruise lines.
When the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, erupted, it sparked chaos globally. The UK was a no-fly zone, 70,000 Thomson customers were stranded abroad, 353 Thomson flights cancelled and 28 planes grounded. 150 members of the Special Assistance Team sprang into action along with 170 volunteers all working around the clock. The Overseas Customer Delivery Team trained 372 staff to man phones, help aboard a Thomson Cruise ship and cover a critical Gatwick Airport shift.